By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Saturday, May 28, 2011

On a Friday afternoon in early July, we were in route from Oklahoma City to Tucson, Arizona, where weather-related business called my husband. After attending a family funeral, we had 26 hours to complete our trip. That meant we did not have time to stop because of bad weather. However, as the storm clouds gathered, my favorite meteorologist kept our car radio tuned to weather reports while glancing at the sky.

An approaching line of thunderstorms in eastern New Mexico.

An approaching line of thunderstorms in eastern New Mexico. [Photographer: Morris Webb]

“Look over there!” Morris advised. “We’re heading straight into the rain!”

With a limited amount of time to make the trip, we had no choice but to go through the storm. As fat raindrops pelted us, I was glad that I had a weather expert beside me.

“Oops! There’s hail up ahead,” he warned me.

His knowledge of weather is such that he can tell what a cloud contains merely by looking at it from a distance.

“Maybe there is somewhere in Portales where we can find shelter to protect the car from the hail,” he ventured.

As we pulled into Portales, New Mexico, the prospects of finding cover didn’t look promising. Just as hail was beginning to fall, my husband spotted a Sonic Drive-in. He rushed to pull under the awning that covered the parking spaces.

Although he usually opens the car door for me, he suspended chivalry in his concern for my safety.

“Run inside!” he shouted as he shut off the engine.

I hopped out of the car as Morris followed. Just as we reached cover, the hail clattered loudly on the roof over our heads.

“I’m glad you didn’t expect me to bring food out to you!” a carhop said in greeting. “You’d have had to wait until the hail stopped!”

Shouting over the noise of the hail, my husband told her, “We’re here to drink two cherry limeades until it stops.”

You will be happy to know that our car suffered no damage because of that storm.

I relate that story because it is one of the few hailstorms when my husband and I were together.

The aftermath of a hailstorm at our house.

The aftermath of a hailstorm at our house. [Photographer: Morris Webb]

As the wife of a meteorologist, I was usually alone during thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornados, and blizzards while my husband worked the forecast shift at the National Weather Service office.

A photo of a shy kid in a box.

                           [Photo courtesy of]

After our son was born, I had a child to console as well.

I was able to manage by myself during such events because my mother trained me to remain calm during stormy weather.

“God’s in charge of the storm,” she told us girls while we were growing up. “If He wants us to remain on earth, He will protect us. If it’s our time to meet Him in Heaven, then we can’t change things by getting nervous. When you trust God, there’s nothing to be upset about during storms.”

God tells us that in Isaiah 43:2 where He says,

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
         And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
         When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
         Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (New King James Version)

Although God spoke those words to the nation of Israel, they still apply to us today.

What Mother taught me about surviving thunderstorms and tornados is also true about withstanding the storms of life. Getting upset about tough times is a waste of energy. I have already done that, as I’m sure you have, and it didn’t change things. Storms and difficult times will come, but they also go. They are temporary by their very nature. The storms of life come to pass, but they don’t come to stay.

We know they are temporary because you and I have already survived tough times. We’re survivors. As such, we can look at what we have learned from our experience.

Since weather has played such an important part in our family life, I love the story in Mark 4:35-41 of the storm that built up while Jesus and his disciples were out in a boat on the sea. Jesus slept while the winds howled and the rain pelted Him. Strangely, none of that woke Him. His peace was so complete that He kept sleeping until the disciples woke Him in fear.

Although they believed Him to be the Son of God, they still panicked. One wonders what they expected Him to do. What He did surprised them. He spoke to the storm.

Mark 4:39-40 says, “39) Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40) But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” (New King James Version)

Do storms have ears? Can they listen? Apparently, they do. That one did, and I suspect they all do. Mountains must listen, too, because Jesus said, in Matthew 17:20, that if we have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, we can speak to a mountain and it will move. That means that we can speak to the mountains and storms in our lives. We don’t have to yell at them. We have only to speak to them.

I have done that when our family has passed through various squall lines. They are of the type that we all go through. No matter how fearsome they are, there is nothing we can do that is as effective as praying about them and speaking to them.

That’s quite a statement to make because I am a recovering worrier. However, the peace that I now have comes from Jesus. That is why Jesus is called The Prince of Peace.

What is a prince? He’s the son and heir of a king. That means he has authority in a kingdom. His word carries weight. That’s why Jesus was able to speak to the storm. He rules over peace. Satan is the ruler of disorder so that he is always at battle with Jesus. When we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we have peace because we have Him in our hearts and in our lives.

Does that mean we will never be afraid? We can only be afraid when we forget who we are and Whose we are.

I understand that when children from troubled backgrounds are adopted, it takes time for them to stop fearing that the problems of the past will return. The same is true for us. It takes time. You and I must remind ourselves each day what the Bible says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (New King James Version) Learning to live in peace and without fear is a daily process. That process starts today.

New Mexico sunrise with pink, purple, and gold Clouds.

New Mexico sunrise with pink, purple, and gold Clouds. [Photographer: Mary Hunt Webb]

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